by Christina Bulford
A long raincoat and a tricorn adorning a nearly-sea-green hat stand set a scene of Cornish domestic bliss. The walls of The Pit drip, and the trains overhead roar like an angry sea. Daniel Drench, Cornwall’s most “prolific and unstable” storyteller invites us to breathe in and forget our busy days – but it’s a false and temporary lulling of our senses before he wakes us up, like a splash of cold sea water to the face.
Tristan is the stuff of Cornish legends. The Robin Hood-esque figure who lives along the Helford River gives much needed gifts to local people the moment they reach utter despair – or so people believe. The reality is rather different. Tristan does live on the Helford, on a boat with his teenaged daughter Kelsey. He can’t find a job so steals electronics from second homes and sells them on to make a living. He occasionally helps out locals when he’s feeling flush, but his virtue is up for debate. When Tristan meets Gale, a vegan activist who suddenly appears in Cornwall after years of drifting around Europe, his world is transformed, but not quite in the manner he expects.